Freo's View


Posted in australia, australia day, city of fremantle, immigration, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2018


Today March 13 is my personal Australia Day. It is the day I migrated to Australia and arrived in Sydney 36 years ago in 1982.

The promised start at a Sydney newspaper did not eventuate because we happened to arrive when Australia was in a recession, so slogging as kitchenhand, cook and waiter was the start of my Aussie life.

Trying to deal with the culture shock and learning to understand cricket, Aussie Rules and rugby was harder than learning to accept cask wine, blue skies and sunshine.

Looking back it is amazing how much I have achieved in a country where I knew nobody. Coming to Perth in September 1985 and starting my own corporate/industrial photography business without having the support of friends or family, or having the right private school tie, was probably more youthful naivety than sound planning.

But from the very start I felt a real love for this country, even more so in Western Australia and especially Fremantle. When I first drove through the Pilbarra and Kimberley I had a real sense of home coming and that I belonged, and Freo has always been like that for me.

Even in my darkest hours I have never regretted I migrated to Australia and I have always felt a commitment that I need to make a positive contribution to my community and leave Freo an even better place than it is for future generations, when my time is up sooner than later.

I have met so many great people and have made really good friends. I love the Freo passion and that we are all so bloody opinionated, and I love it that most of us don’t take themselves too serious.

Thanks for having me, Freo!

Roel Loopers


Posted in community, fremantle, newspaper by freoview on March 21, 2016

Oud Hagenaar



I have been called a do-gooder, bleeding heart, lefty, socialist, Greenie, communist, egomaniac, anti-development, alcoholic, Fremantle Council basher, weirdo, heathen, and so on, so it is nice to feel appreciated with a full page in De Oud Hagenaar community newspaper in the city where I was born 67 long years ago.

They distribute 74,000 copies of the paper around the city and train stations and I have already received a few emails from people in Hague, Netherlands who wanted to get in touch with me.

I left Holland in 1969 to start my career as a media photographer in Nuremberg, West Germany and migrated to Australia in March 1982

If only 10% of those who read the article are inspired to visit Fremantle I have done my job at promoting the city I love.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia day, fremantle by freoview on January 27, 2016

Fremantle welcomed many new citizens on Australia Day at the ceremony on the Esplanade and also recognised the achievements of local people and groups in the Premier’s Active Citizenship Awards.

It probably was no surprise that the very active and successful Rethink The Link received the group award but some people were surprised that Adin Lang got the individual one as he stood for Cockburn Council at the May election. There were a couple of people who thought I did not deserve the award when I received it in 2013, and with so many active and deserving people in our community I am sure it is hard for the committee to please everyone.

It was relatively quiet in Fremantle yesterday compared to previous years and I believe it is time to rethink the way Freo celebrates our national day.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 2, 2015

I have been thinking about the Committee for Perth suggestion that Fremantle should market itself as Little Italy because we have a high percentage of Italian restaurants and residents with an Italian background. It would be the same kind of  silly real estate marketing that suggests that Mandurah has a resemblance to Venice just because it has some canals.

Fremantle is Freo. It is unique and multicultural and has great character, and we have many Italians living here and many mainly mediocre ‘Italian’ restaurants. Let’s be honest, it is hard to find a true Italian restaurant in Fremantle that would be given more than a 12/20 rating by restaurant reviewers.

Our outstanding heritage architecture in the west end is British rather than Italian, so why should Fremantle pretend it is a little bit like Italy? It isn’t!

Fremantle is a fantastic summer festival city with the, in my opinion, outstanding Street Art Festival at Easter. That is what we should be promoting to overseas and interstate visitors, not the fact that we have a lot of restaurants who sell more or less the same kind of uninspiring pasta dishes.

Fremantle also has a real multicultural feeling with people from all over the earth living here, and making it even more exciting are all the international students at Notre Dame University who add colour and vibrancy to our city.

Fremantle does not look or feel Italian, it feels just like Freo and that is a very good thing and a great brand to promote, so why bother putting it into a drawer and pretend we are more Italian in Fremantle than Croation, English, Greek, German, Macedonian, Dutch, Irish, or whatever.

Freo is a great place to live and tourist who visit love it because it is so different from Perth. Only last week a couple who had just driven around Australia said for them Fremantle was the most beautiful city they had visited on their long journey. That is the stuff we need to be proud off and promote, not just one ethnic group who have made Freo their home.


Posted in fremantle, refugees by freoview on June 14, 2015

A large crowd turned up on Sunday for the annual REFUGEES FIESTA at the Fremantle Esplanade. Whadjuk Nyoongar Elder Theresa Walley gave a welcome to country while Deputy and Acting Mayor Josh Wilson welcomed the people to the city.

There was a drumming circle and food and information stalls and live music entertainment after the march through the inner city.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on January 26, 2014

Unlike some politicians I don’t often engage in self promotion or do selfies. I did not even show you my hand, I badly cut at the markets yesterday. But last year’s Australia Day was very special to me, as I was awarded the Fremantle Citizen of the Year 2012. I wonder who it will be this year, and will be at the Esplanade today to take photos of the City of Fremantle festivities.

The decisions to become an Australian citizen is a huge one for everybody, no matter for what reasons one migrated here, and it can be quite emotional for those involved. Welcome to everyone who becomes, or already became, a new Aussie today!

And congratulations to the Walyalup Reconciliation Group who today became the City of Melville Group of the Year. I was a member at the early start of that group with people like Marie Thorne and Morgan Morris, and it is still going strong.

Roel Loopers

Citizen of the Year 2012



Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 7, 2014

Sure, Australia Day is an important day for our nation, and one we celebrate in style in Fremantle, with the Bathers Bay fireworks and the citizenship ceremony on the Esplanade, but does it really need two full-page and one half-page advertisements in the Fremantle Gazette today?

I always try to attend the ceremony and entertainment on the Esplanade, as becoming a citizen of a new country is very special. Australia Day has become even more special to me since I was awarded the Premier’s Fremantle Citizen of the Year 2012 during the celebrations last year. I am still over the moon for having received that recognition for my community work.

But three huge ads in one issue of a community newspaper to promote the event is way over the top.

The FIREWORKS will be at 8 pm and the CELEBRATIONS are from 3 pm with entertainment by Matt Gresham, Amanti Consort, Gina Williams with Guy Ghouse, Iron Bark, Wasamba, and Kart Koort Wiern.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on August 25, 2013

I met the lovely Helene Markmann of East Fremantle on Saturday and am impressed with her blog that helps new people to Australia to make some sense of our culture, habits and language. As an immigrant myself I know how long it took to make sense of Aussie culture, so if you know anyone who has just migrated or intends to, make them aware of Helene’s

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on August 11, 2013

When politicians Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott are playing games with the lives of desperate people we should all be concerned, because no matter where people are from, what their religion, culture or skin colour is, they are people like you and me.

Returning the boats or not allowing asylum seekers to come to Australia is simply wrong in my opinion. Compassion and care should override any perceived political gain. It is better to lose an election with values and principles intact than being gutless and pander to fear based on ignorance in the hope to receive more votes.

People are people and in our global village we have the responsibility to look after the entire community of this planet. Racism has no place here and we have to reject it strongly.

Let’s welcome all genuine refugees. Stopping them from coming to Australia because some might rort the system is like finding all of them  guilty before a proper trial has been conducted.

I don’t think these colourful young Muslim women look out of place on the Fremantle Esplanade.

Roel Loopers

just human beings like you and I


Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 23, 2013

Good to see so many people turning up for the Welcome to Australia and Walk Together day at the Fremantle Esplanade on Saturday to say welcome to refugees and make those who are forced to leave their countries feel welcome here.

Unfortunately I can’t post photos of the event as I was trying out a new camera but my computer does not let me convert the Nikon D 800 RAW files into dng. It probably means my computer is getting too old after just 6 years and needs to be replaced.

Roel Loopers

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